mothers2mothers (m2m) is delighted to announce that South African supermodel, fashion entrepreneur, and mother of two young children, Candice Swanepoel, has become an m2m Patron. In this role, Candice will support m2m to raise awareness and resources to expand our work to eliminate paediatric AIDS, improve the health and wellbeing of women, children, and adolescents, and promote women’s empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. She joins an illustrious team of Patrons, including singer, songwriter, and human rights activist Annie Lennox, OBE, and Academy Award-nominated actress, producer, and director Salma Hayek Pinault.
“Motherhood and South Africa are two of my passions, so serving as an m2m Patron is a perfect fit for me. I am inspired by the incredible work done every day across eight nations by the HIV-positive women mothers2mothers employs as Mentor Mothers to end childhood AIDS and help women and their families to stay healthy and thrive. I have been amazed how their simple model has created jobs for more than 10,000 HIV-positive women and changed the lives of over 10.5 million women and children. I hope that my patronage will allow them to reach even more women and children with their life-saving services,” Candice said.
“I fully understand just how daunting it can be to be pregnant for the first time. But I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have to deal with a life-changing diagnosis like HIV at the same time. Thankfully mothers2mothers and its sisterhood of Mentor Mothers are there to support women and families to get the lifesaving medical care they need,” she added.
Candice has been a generous supporter of m2m since 2015, donating proceeds from her capsule denim collection she designed with the American lifestyle brand Mother Denim. Two years later, she donated the proceeds of an animal-friendly shoe collection she created with footwear brand Mara & Mine. She has now, in honor of Mother’s Day, committed a portion of sales from her swimwear collection, Tropic of C, which she launched last year.
“Candice Swanepoel has been a long-time friend and supporter of mothers2mothers, and we are thrilled that she has taken on this new role as Patron. She is clearly passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of mothers and families in sub-Saharan Africa and we are looking forward to this new partnership with her,” said Frank Beadle de Palomo, m2m’s President and CEO.
Candice is one of the most recognizable faces in fashion and has been a Victoria Secret Angel since 2010. Throughout her career, she has been featured in numerous fashion magazines around the globe, including Vogue, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Numero, and V. She has also appeared on runways and in advertising for many of the world’s top fashion brands, including Givenchy, Fendi, Versace, Tom Ford, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Nike, to name just a few.
She learned first hand about m2m’s peer-to-peer approach when she visited the organisation early this year. This approach, which employs HIV-positive mothers as Mentor Mothers to support women and families at health facilities and communities to access vital lifesaving medical care, made a lasting impression. Two of m2m’s first Mentor Mothers—Babalwa Mbono and Nozi Samela—explained how Mentor Mothers are armed with the knowledge of how it feels to be in their clients’ shoes and are trusted members of their community—a simple, but incredibly effective, model of sisterhood.